The Seven Most Common Injuries in Car Accidents

August 17th, 2018

Car accidents can cause a wide range of injuries. Two of the biggest misconceptions out there is that the cars involved in the accident need to be traveling at high rates of speed, or that the damages done to the vehicles need to be significant in order for great bodily damage to occur. This is not the case. Severe and even life-threatening injuries can be sustained in low-speed accidents or even when there is no major, visible damage to the vehicles.

At Ramos James Law, PPLC, we are dedicated to providing victims of car accidents with the legal care they need to obtain justice and compensation. Below you will find the seven most common injuries that can be sustained in a car accident.

Superficial Injuries

Following a car accident, one of the most common types of injuries that can be sustained are superficial injuries. This includes bruising from wearing your seatbelt, a bloody nose from your airbag inflating, or scratches and minor cuts due to glass shattering and hitting you. Superficial injuries may require no immediate medical attention and sometimes, no medical attention at all. These injuries typically heal up on their own very quickly with no residual damage or permanent disability. If you or a passenger are walking away from a car accident with superficial injuries, consider yourself lucky. However, beware of injuries that may lie beneath the surface.

Lacerations and Crushing Injuries

Cuts and scrapes will vary in severity depending on each case and can include serious lacerations or crushing injuries caused by different components of the vehicles such as metal or glass. These types of injuries require immediate attention. Failing to seek immediate medical care can result in the loss of precious time needed to protect your health or that of a loved one.

Back and Neck Soft Tissue Injuries

Back and neck muscular injuries are also included among the most common type of injuries following a car accident. These injuries are generally referred to as “soft tissue” injuries and may affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other tissues in the body other than bones or vital organs. The most common type of soft tissue injury associated with a car accident is “whiplash”.

When you are involved in a car accident, your neck and spine are thrown forward and then backward or to the side. This sudden jerking motion causes trauma to the tissues and joints surrounding the bones and vertebrae that make up your neck and spine. This can cause substantial damage to these tissues with resulting pain and spasms. If you suspect any of these injuries, you should get medical attention as soon as possible. Although these injuries may not seem very significant, lack of treatment may lead to the formation of scar tissue that can then result in ongoing pain and discomfort for a long time. [1] Every person is different and you should allow medical professionals to be the ones that determine what treatment you need.

Traumatic Brain Injuries & Concussions

Another injury that, unfortunately, is relatively common with car accidents is a traumatic brain injury, or “TBI”. In 2013,1 about 2.8 million TBI-related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occurred in the United States. Car accidents are the third common cause of TBIs in the United States. Among TBI-related deaths, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for individuals 5-24 years of age.

Brain injuries occur when the brain sustains a strong blow to the head, causing the brain to swell. Many times, medical professionals will first determine that a concussion has occurred, and hope that the concussion does not result in a more severe brain injury. However, many concussions take a long time to resolve and some lead to permanent brain activity impairment with effects such as loss of memory, mood swings, depression, and more. Concussions and TBI may occur during high impact motor vehicle accidents where the skull is struck by different parts of the inside of the vehicle or by severe whiplash. Motor vehicle accidents that can lead to TBI or concussions may involve passenger cars, scooters, motorcycles, trucks or even bicycle or pedicab accidents.

Limb Fractures

When you think of car accidents, the body parts that most people think of being injured are usually the head, neck, and back. But the arms and legs can be injured as the result of an automobile accident as well. Typically, a fracture is the most common type of injury sustained to the arms and legs, at different points such as the wrists, ankles, shoulder, or femur. As someone drives, their arms and legs are bent. Usually, a person is using one or two hands to hold the steering wheel and one or two feet on the pedals. If the person collides with another car, the force of the impact can cause the bones to shatter or break, causing limb fractures.

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries can be one of the most traumatic and serious forms of injury outside of traumatic brain injuries. Many internal injuries are caused by the crushing force of the accident. A steering wheel may be pushed into someone’s abdomen if they hit someone from behind. Or, if a car hits another car from the side, the impact of the accident may drive the metal car body into the passengers who are sitting in the back seat. Either way, internal injuries can include everything from internal bleeding to pierced or torn organs to severe organ damage. Internal injuries need to be treated immediately to prevent further damage to the body or death. Depending on where the accident occurs, sometimes it is necessary to air-lift an injured person to get them to the ER as soon as possible.

Loss of Life

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, over 3,700 individuals lost their lives in car accidents in 2016. Death may be the result of severe head injuries or internal injuries. Wearing a seatbelt helps to minimize the chances of death as the result of a car accident, but it cannot prevent all deaths.

If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to immediately go to the ER or be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. After getting the medical care you need, consult with a personal injury attorney. Experienced injury attorneys can help obtain the right experts needed to show how the accident occurred, as well as the exact movements and forces that led to the injuries you sustained.

Contact Ramos James Law at 512-537-3369 for help with your injury case. We have almost ten years of experience and we will help you pursue the fair and full compensation you deserve. Hablamos Español.


[1] This is not intended as legal or medical advice. These notes are intended simply as commentary.

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